Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Haiti Mission Trip Recap - Wednesday

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Loving Light Hotel room

Finally back in the room after a long day.  We headed out for church around 9am.  They were sanding and moving rocks in the church and since my eyelids are swollen (common eye allergy symptom of mine) I didn't think it was smart to go in there since I don't have my allergy eyedrops with me. 

Wanda is still sick, so clinic was cancelled for today. So...back to the kitchen for me! Maybe God is sending me a message.

I did dishes and helped prepare vegetables. The ladies, especially Marjorie, showed me what to do ad talked with me about their families.  Some of the girls stopped by to chat with me and poke me and things. One cultural difference that is really funny is that in Haiti having belly fat is considered a good thing - a sign that you have enough food to carry a little extra weight. So it became pretty common for the teenage girls to come over and poke me in the belly while I was working in the kitchen or hanging out in the afternoon. It was a sign of affection and encouragement, but it sure felt funny trying to feel good about being poked in my flabby belly by strangers!

Late in the morning, a vendor woman came with popsicles kind of like freeze pops. They are basically frozen juice.  Jennifer bought us each one.  It was an interesting taste and nice to have something cold!

Emily decided she wanted to buy 5 more popsicles for the team working up at the driver's house, so she gave the lady $1. Apparently $1US buys 8 popsicles, so she was owed change. But she didn't want it, so she just started walking up to the driver's house to deliver the popsicle.  When she left, the kitchen ladies who were watching, came over and took 3 more popsicles.  Titi took one and gave me a very cute devilish grin and we laughed together about how she scored a "free" popsicle.

Marjorie and Titi (blue apron). In the background you can see the popsicle lady carrying her full size cooler of popsicles on her head.
 I really like the Kreyol language.  It is nice sounding but very passionate.  The Haitians often sound like they are yelling at each other because their voices tend to be deeper and they speak so loudly. It makes it interesting to watch them talk to each other.  It helps that I am starting to recognize a few words too.

I was thinking today about how much I am enjoying learning about and experiencing this culture.  There are obviously things that are difficult about living here, but I enjoy being a part of their community for now. On the "community" theme, our team is starting to do better with workin together.  We had a nice time tonight after debriefing sitting around and laughing together.

We did 2 meal services today.  It was the first day we have been here that they served twice.  After lunch,  Gina and Emily came with me to help with more kitchen prep work.  It was Emily's first time in the kitchen. 

I handed out hollogram animal stickers after lunch.  Even some of the teen and young adult soccer guys came over and asked for one! The best was one of the really big, muscular guys who pointed at the lion one and then roared at me and put his hand out for the sticker. 

Afternoon soccer

Jennifer with some of the kids

Afternoon jump rope games

I helped some of the English students practice their conversational phrases. They are doing really well.  I stayed back at church with Jennifer when the team came back to the hotel so that I could help at her English class.  That was very fun!

Jennifer's English class inside the church

The class practiced asking me basic quesions and then I asked them back so they could practice anwering.  I helped them with pronounciation, especially words with "r" sounds and "ch" hard sounds.  It was really fun for me.

Then I tagged along for the prayer group Jennifer leads before the tap tap came back for us.  It was a good meeting.  I have no idea what they were praying for, but it was very intense.

I got to take my first night tap tap ride because we didn't leave the church until 7pm. One of our rules was that we weren't allowed to leave our hotel at night unless it was an official work thing, so this was one of very few chances I had to be out at night.  I gt to see the security guy with the giant shotgun!

I had heard rumors of this security shotgun guy, but hadn't seen him before this.
When we got back,everyone else had eaten and there wasn't much food left. I did get some though. It was boulette again -- yum!

We did debriefing and sang together to close out the night.  Reggie (one of our translators) and two other Haitians stayed up on the roof with us and recorded the singing with their phones so they could listen to it later. That was cool.

I am very tired and a little sunburned.  I am going to take a benedryl so hopefully my eyelids won't be swollen again tomorrow.

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